Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Appendix A: Child Development Charts

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HealthWiki > New Where There Is No Doctor > Caring for Children > Appendix A: Child Development Charts


How to use these child development charts


Children develop in several main areas: physical (body), mental (mind), communication (gesturing or talking), and social (relating to other people). Some skills a child learns include all these areas. For example, when a child reaches her arms up to be held, she is using a:

  • physical skill – she holds up her arms.
  • mental skill – she recognizes you.
  • communication skill – she tells you what she wants.
  • social skill – she enjoys being held by you.


The charts below show some of the skills children learn and when most children learn them. You can use the chart to get general information about how children develop and to help you decide what skills the child needs to learn. For a print quality version of these charts, click here.

"A baby lying on its side"
6
months
"A baby crawling"
12
months
A two year-old child walking"
2
years
The charts show how children's physical skills change as children grow.


To help you decide what skills the child needs to learn

Find the chart for the age group closest to the child’s age. On the chart, circle the skills your child has. You may find your child does not have some skills that other children his age have. Knowing this can help you decide which activities you want to work on with the child.

"A child development chart with five skills in different categories circled"

In the chart above, a mother has circled the skills her 20-month-old daughter can do. Her child needs activities to help her gain physical and communication skills.



Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many babies have when they are 3 months old.

3
months
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical


"A man holding and talking to his baby"
responds to
familiar voices
or faces
"A man playing a flute to a baby"
reacts to
sudden sounds or
movements
A man picking up a baby"
recognizes main caregivers
"A baby crying in its mother's arms"
cries when hungry or uncomfortable
"A man soothing his baby with his hands"
can be
comforted by
voice or touch
"A baby smiling at its mother"
smiles when
played with
"A baby lying on its side playing with its hands
is aware of hands
"A mother breastfeeding her baby"
sucks on breast
"A baby lying on its belly, lifting its head"
lifts head up when on belly
Babies who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help babies develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Communication part of the circle: you do not have to play the flute! The question to ask yourself is if your baby reacts to a sudden sound. Keep in mind that a baby will learn best by doing activities that other babies the same age do in your community.




Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many babies have when they are 6 months old.

6
months
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical
"A baby lying on its mothers belly, making sounds"
makes simple
sounds or
gestures
aaah
"A father lying with his baby, shaking a rattle"
turns head toward sounds
or movements
"A baby sitting on its mother's lap, sucking on a toy"
picks up things and puts them
in mouth
"A mother and baby banging toys on a table together"
plays with toys in different ways
"A baby grabbing a toy from an older child"
is interested in objects
"A baby turning away from a woman"
shows fear
with
strangers
"A baby holding its arms out to a woman"
makes requests for attention
"A baby holding its arms out to a man and a woman"
recognizes several people
"A baby rolling"
rolls from stomach to back
and from back to stomach
"A baby sitting up with help from its mother"
sits with
some
support
"A baby smiling and shaking a rattle"
wiggles and kicks
arms and legs
Babies who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help babies develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Physical part of the circle: your baby does not have to play with a rattle. The question to ask yourself is if your baby wiggles and kicks. Keep in mind that a baby will learn best by doing activities that other babies the same age do in your community.



Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many babies have when they are 12 months old.


12
months
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical


understands simple
words or signs
Give it
to me.
"A baby banging a spoon on a cup"
"A woman holding her hand out for her baby to give her something"
"A baby shaking a rattle and babbling to itself"
begins to babble
by joining
sounds together,
or repeats
hand shapes
begins to name things
ba-ba
ga-ga
wa wa
"A baby dropping a cup"
learns that an object exists even if it is
out of sight
"A baby taking objects out of a box"
works to solve simple problems
"A baby pulling in a rattle on a string"
begins to
understand cause
and effect
"A baby holding its arms out"
uses
gestures
"A baby crying"
cries when caregiver leaves
"A man playing peek-a-boo with a baby"
begins to enjoy social
games like peek-a-boo
"A baby sitting up"
sits without help
"A baby crawling"
crawls
"A baby using a stool to pull himself up to a standing position"
pulls to
standing
position


Babies who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help babies develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Social part of the circle: you do not have to play peek-a-boo with your baby. The question to ask yourself is if your baby enjoys social games. Keep in mind that a baby will learn best by doing activities that other babies the same age do in your community.




Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many children have when they are 2 years old.

2
years
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical
uses 2 and
3 word
sentences
play
ball
"A father talking to his child"
papa
papa
"A child holding a ball"
"A child pointing at a cup"
uses
simple
words
imitates single
words or signs
cup
"A child making a collection of balls"
matches
objects
"A child banging a drum with a drumstick"
uses objects related to
each other
"A child playing with a collection of objects"
pays attention to
activities for
longer times
"Two children playing next to each other with stones and cups"
plays alongside
other children
"A father and son washing their hands together"
imitates caregivers
"A man kneeling down so his child can talk to him"
asks others
when she
needs help
"A child stacking blocks"
stacks large
objects
"A child walking"
walks
"A child squatting"
squats
Children who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help children develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Mental part of the circle: your child does not have to be able to play a drum. The question to ask yourself is if your child uses 2 objects together. Keep in mind that a child will learn best by doing activities that other children the same age do in your community.




Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many children have when they are 3 years old.

3
years
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical
"A woman talking to a child, who is pointing at his mouth"
Where's
your
mouth?
"A child talking"
communicates clearly
I want to go
with papa
understands most
simple language


"A child fitting a square piece of cardboard into a square hole"
fits shapes into
matching holes or
spaces
"A child sorting small objects by color"
sorts
objects
"A child opening a box"
takes things apart and puts them together
"A girl sweeping with her older sister"
likes to be praised after
doing simple tasks
Thank you
for helping
"A mother doing the laundry with her child"
enjoys helping
around the house
"A child wiping away his mother's tears"
is aware of people's
feelings
"A child running"
runs, jumps, climbs
"A child opening a jar"
uses hand for
more complex
tasks
"A child throwing a ball"
throws
a ball
Children who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help children develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Social part of the circle: your child does not have to sweep the floor. The question to ask yourself is if your child enjoys helping work with the family. Keep in mind that a child will learn best by doing activities that other children the same age do in your community.




Each part of this circle shows a different area of development. The pictures and words are examples of skills that many children have when they are 5 years old.

5
years
old
Communication
Mental
Social
Physical
"A child, dripping wet"
I fell in
the
water
"A child walking with his father, asking him questions"
asks many questions
Who is
over there?
What are
they doing?
talks about what
he has done


"A child helping in a vegetable garden"
follows simple
directions
"A child putting the pieces of a puzzle together"
does
simple
puzzles
"A child using an abacus"
understands
counting
"Three children playing with a tire together"
understands rules
"Two children at school, listening to their teacher"
plays with other children
"A child speaking"
I'm sad.
I'm sorry.
expresses
many
feelings
"A child drawing two squares in the sand"
copies simple
shapes
"A child walking backwards"
easily walks
backwards
"A child hopping on one foot"
hops on one foot


Children who cannot do 2 skills in any part of the circle will benefit from activities that help children develop in that area. But the pictures are only examples of skills. For example, in the Social part of the circle: your child does not have to be listening to a teacher. The question to ask yourself is if your child understands rules like other children do. Keep in mind that a child will learn best by doing activities that other children the same age do in your community.


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